“2 – 6”

Next up in my birthday shares is 2 big things I want to experience and 6 little-big things I want to accomplish. 

I have enough deadlines in my day-to-day so I’m not putting timing on the items, but writing/announcing them is reason enough for me to remain accountable. 

Live abroad. 

I’ve always been interested in other cultures and the people that comprise them. I have photos and paintings on my wall of places of where I’ve been (Australia, Paris) and places of where I want to go (London, Italy… to name a few). I believe seeing these images on my wall is a fantastic reminder that I can get there – and will get there. It worked with the picture of Times Square – it has successfully transferred to the “places I’ve been” category. 

Whether it’s a month, a year or… living abroad could expose me to another world of people, challenges and life lessons. NYC has also provided me with a great taste of diversity. One of my favorite parts of this city is being able to walk down the block hearing several languages, English not included. It reminds me of visiting Sydney. I heard countless languages – each one causing my ears to perk up (as they would in Chicago). I quickly realized this was the norm – and I’m seeing the same trend in NYC. 

And fortunately, with an employer with 65 offices globally this goal feels very attainable. I’m thinking London, Sydney or Amsterdam, but as always, open to suggestions! 

Get married. 

[Breath Daddio, no plans to have you walk me down the aisle in the very near future,] BUT it is never too early to start choreographing our Father-Daughter dance (we should sell tickets to the reception for the performance alone!). This is not an immediate life event; I would probably need to find an interested stud first, but one I most definitely want in my life for several reasons.

The foremost reason: have you met my parents? Talk about two people complimenting each other 100%. Almost 35 years in and they’re still laughing, caring and most importantly, dancing (as in the actual experience and through all the curve balls life has thrown them). I don’t know when I want this big life commitment, but I know I want it – because of them. 


In the “little-big” category I want to…

Launch my side hustle. 

I’m the first to admit money does not come easy in NYC and I really enjoy helping friends and professional contacts with PR. It allows me to perfect my craft and I see great opportunities in turning help into a more substantial hustle. 

Improve my fitness.

Specifically I want to run something – 5K, 10K, half marathon… I’ve committed to some kind of activity 5x per week: running, yoga, dance. If I focus on my overall fitness I’m hoping this “something” will be a breeze. I know I feel more energized, sleep better and find myself in an all-around better mood thanks to consistent workouts.  

Make something of my blog. 

This means determining my ongoing theme, how to best reach my audience and turn it into a “must-read.” If you are technically savvy and want to teach me your tricks I am ready to learn. Additionally, I want to explore investing into the site and take up more opportunities to guest blog to challenge my writing and strengthen my relationships. 

Repay my parents. 

Not only for the loans they have given me, but to make up for all they have done for me over the last 25 years. I can’t wait to be able to help them in the ways they have helped me. 

Live the “student always” mentality. 

Regardless of age or experience, I feel everyone should look for the lesson from any situation. I plan to continue this approach professionally and personally (with many more blog posts to share the observations).  

Be the best maid of honor I can be. 

[Again – Daddy, breath. No official plans on this front; just another life goal.] As the baby of the family my sister has catered to me our entire lives – letting me choose the best piece of pizza (because that totally exists), listening to my never-ending stories and surprising me with presents every time I turn around. It’s about time this one received all the attention she so rightfully deserves. I’ve heard this wedding business is intense. To which I say – bring it on. 

What’s on your life to do list? How are you doing so far at accomplishing each item? 

Bring the Happy


A year ago I wrote about the difficulties of Alzheimer’s and how my family was dealing with my great aunt Stephanie’s failing memory. I find myself writing again about my stand-in grandma following the news of her passing this week.

Being away from home brought the realization I could not be with my family and say goodbye to Auntie Steph. As such, I was in need of a pick-me-up.

I attended a screening for the documentary Happy. This film details the definition across the globe seeking input from all kinds of people – from psychologists and neurologists in the U.S. to 100+ year olds in Okinawa, Japan. The documentary discusses how happy people tend to be more resilient and face challenges more effectively. A quote highlighted in the film sticks with me. Benjamin Franklin said, “The U.S. constitution does not guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. You have to catch up with it yourself.”

How can you bring the happy to yourself and others every day?
•    Write letters. Auntie Stephie and I were pen pals throughout college. I looked forward to holding the cards she took the time to send me and to this day, I constantly find them in journals and boxes – lovely reminders of an amazing woman.
•    Perform random acts of kindness. Why not surprise a fellow coffee drinker by picking up their order? Strive to pay it forward in your every day.
•    Tell stories. Auntie Steph was quite the storyteller. She always had a lot to say, especially about her Italian pictured above (but she may have used another, less PC, term to describe the love of her life).
•    Write down 5 good things you have going each week. My pal Andi started a blog series where contributors share little doses of joy. Reflecting on the latest and greatest in your life will keep your spirits high and help you overcome the tough situations.

To celebrate how Auntie Steph lived each day to its fullest, the obituary requests that bright colors are worn to the wake and funeral. Just as she filled our lives with color, we’ll do her proud with a goodbye that is nothing less.

Fallin’ in love… with this season


Meet my counterpart…. in tree form. Mama and Papa Flo planted each Kid Flo a tree when they joined the world. In case you were interested to see a 25 year old Flowering Dogwood, here she is.

Raking leaves when you live across the street from a forest preserve really couldn’t be easier. Just cart those leaves across the street. What does everyone else do? ; )

And that hill? That’s Devil’s Hill. I promise you during the childhood sledding incident of 1999 it was much steeper. Don’t let the inviting meadow at the bottom fool you.

Why fall in love with the season? Don’t worry about the weather getting cooler. Enjoy the colors instead.

When my sister lived in Irvine, CA she would drive down one nearby street for the sole reason of seeing the leaves change. It’s the little things we don’t notice how important they are… until they’re no longer right in front of us.

What I’m learning from my dad’s stroke

I wanted to share a really important past post inspired by the events of May 19, 2010. Do you have those days where you remember exactly where you were and how you reacted? Here’s mine.


I’ve written a few posts (and read plenty) of how certain life events have strong connections to the public relations industry. The thoughts I share here definitely relate to PR, but in my humble opinion, connect to much more than PR alone. I’ve been “unplugged” from my social networks for awhile after a family event and the ensuing work catch up took center stage. The following post originated in an unlikely location, a hospital room.


On May 19, 2010 I received one of the calls you hope to never receive – my dad was in the hospital. Dad had suffered what was believed to be a mild stroke. Because I needed to drive straight from work my mom only provided me with minimal details. (That’s almost worse because of the situations I began concocting in my head.) Throughout the days I spent in the hospital, I realized how strong Dad is and how he would never let the likes of a stroke bring him down. I felt the need to write myself notes highlighting his strength and reminders of how this was a learning process for him… and for me.


Choose your words carefully – As a result of Dad’s stroke he has the most difficulty with his speech. He’s attending speech therapy and we have seen significant improvement from Day 1 in the ICU. To put it simply, I think we take the act of speech for granted. Dad is fortunate that he has control over his gross motor skills, but his speech exercises remind me to enjoy this everyday activity and be grateful as his speech continues to improve.


Speak softly and carry a big wit Dad has always taken his time when choosing his words. Because of this, I find myself listening extra carefully not to miss any of his latest sayings. Considering his situation, I’d score his humor a 10/10. Nurses and doctors loved chatting with Dad because of his jokes and stories. My personal favorite? After a test of Dad’s heart this past year he was told he had “the heart of a 20 year old,” and you can be sure he let everyone on his hospital team know it ; )


Don’t think, just smile – Did you know two different parts of your brain trigger a smile on command versus a natural smile? During the first 48 hours Dad spent in the ICU nurses checked in every 15 minutes. Each time they tested his arm and leg strength and lastly, his smile. He started to tire of the smile request and would flash a quick one to appease the nurse. But when Dad made a joke or we laughed, he gave us a glimpse of the smile we all know from him. This fact has been the most compelling for me because of how different forcing an action and letting it occur naturally can be. It’s a reminder to maintain the authenticity in all that you do.


Be determined – Within minutes of Dad being in the ICU he turned to my mom once the nurse left the room and said, “Let’s make a break for it.” Now that is the mentality of someone whose main goal is to return home as soon as possible. And he never lost that determination.


I’m happy to report Dad is home and continues to improve each day. This post may have started in a hospital room, but its reach on my experiences will extend much farther into the future. Can you share any stories or past posts of how life events have served as lessons for you?